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Doubts grow that Mike Wallace has a future in Pittsburgh

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What does the long-term contract extension for Steelers receiver Antonio Brown mean for the future of the Steelers’ other starting receiver, Mike Wallace?

It may mean Wallace and the Steelers have no future together.

After Brown signed his deal, Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that there won’t be a new deal for Wallace. In other words, the Steelers are telling Wallace that his options are to sign his one-year tender and play this season for $2.7 million, or not to play at all.

If Wallace does sign that one-year tender, he’d become an unrestricted free agent a year from now. At that point, the Steelers could use the franchise tag to keep him, but Bouchette writes that there’s “no way” the Steelers will franchise Wallace. In other words, the Steelers have pretty much resigned themselves to getting one more year out of Wallace, and then letting him move on.

But will they even get another year out of Wallace? Not necessarily, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who writes that the Steelers could trade Wallace in training camp.

That one is harder to picture. First of all, a trade would only happen if there’s a team out there willing both to meet Wallace’s contract demands and to give up compensation that the the Steelers are willing to accept. But if Wallace is really looking for Larry Fitzgerald money, as has been reported, there’s probably not a team out there willing to meet his contract demands. And it’s not clear whether any team is willing to give up the kind of compensation the Steelers would accept: We know no team is going to give up a first-round pick for Wallace because any team could have had him for a first-round pick at any time during the offseason, and no team signed him to an offer sheet. A team might tempt the Steelers with an offer of a second-round pick, but the Steelers could just decide they’d rather have one more year of Wallace’s services, especially considering that the Steelers would get a compensatory pick if Wallace leaves in free agency next year.

In other words, there aren’t many options for Wallace right now. His best bet seems to be signing the tender, having another strong season, and hoping unrestricted free agency goes better for him next year than restricted free agency went for him this year.

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57 Responses to “Doubts grow that Mike Wallace has a future in Pittsburgh”
  1. sneakerhead11 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:06 AM

    Bring’em to Denver! How could he stay in Pittsburgh? They completely disrespected him.

  2. steelerhypocrite says: Jul 28, 2012 7:09 AM

    Doesn’t Wallace know that if he wants the respect of Steeler management, then he needs to assault a few women (the Big Ben solution) or argue in favor of molesting children – much like Franco Harris does.

  3. cup1981 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:17 AM

    sneakerhead11 says:
    Jul 28, 2012 7:06 AM
    Bring’em to Denver! How could he stay in Pittsburgh? They completely disrespected him.

    ————————————————-

    Huh, disrespected him? Are you nuts. They handed him $2.7 million to be the one-trick pony that he is and show that maybe he can do more than run fast in a straight line. He disrespected the Steelers by refusing to sign at all.

  4. 1122world says: Jul 28, 2012 7:33 AM

    Dont know what went down in talks leading up to this but Wallace needs to move on and also fire his agent.
    Funny how no one has ever mentioned him yet -

  5. kuta82 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:36 AM

    Whoever it is that’s advising Mike to holdout needs to be fired. Steelers have always given players what they worth. For the Steelers to pass on Mike to pay Antonio Brown just shows that they are running the show and they will not bend over backwards for Mike.Its their way or the high way.I like Mike as a player but I agree with the Steelers. Who Dey

  6. steeltownpride says: Jul 28, 2012 7:38 AM

    I think the Steelers knew it would be easier to sign Brown over Wallace and after long talks went that route . Brown is a humble and respectful player . Well grounded . He is what the STeelers want in its players . Be a team player , work out a deal that works for both sides . Holmes got 50 mill over 5 years from Jets and Wallace turned that down . Holmes is a SBMVP . Wallace is fast .

  7. sneakerhead11 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    They give an unproven receiver the huge deal you want after cutting contract talks off with you. Id say any team in the league would love to have the “one trick pony” on the depth chart. Like I said bring ‘em to Denver so we can have another weapon for Manning.

  8. jwayne111 says: Jul 28, 2012 7:49 AM

    Big Dummy…fire your agent. Realize who your fighting. You do not win these stand-offs with Steeler and Patriot teams.

    Get to camp, your gonna be back page soon and the season moves on.

  9. bobbyhoying says: Jul 28, 2012 7:50 AM

    If they think he’ll play at a focused , high level they’re probably wrong. See DeSean Jackson in 2011.

  10. watermelon1 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:00 AM

    You must be crazy to think the steelers wouldn’t franchise him next year if he ends up having a great year this year.

    So please, don’t act like signing the 1 year deal guarantees him his freedom next summer.

    And Wallace might not be Fitzgerald, but he’s easily more than a “1 trick pony.” people called randy moss the same thing and he was still dominating at age 33. This guy is worth giving up a high pick and a big contract if you need a receiver.

  11. pixelito says: Jul 28, 2012 9:01 AM

    The Steelers are absolute morons when it comes to dealing with WR’s.

  12. njsteelersfan says: Jul 28, 2012 9:02 AM

    sneakerhead11 says:Jul 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    They give an unproven receiver the huge deal you want after cutting contract talks off with you. Id say any team in the league would love to have the “one trick pony” on the depth chart. Like I said bring ‘em to Denver so we can have another weapon for Manning.
    ——————————————–
    Thats funny because Mike is the unproven one only route he runs are str8 . Brown runs routes and lets see Browns was Pitts MVP and set the record for all purpose yards

  13. jdmonte11 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:06 AM

    ESPN was so ridiculous about Mike Wallace this offseason. He’s an elite WR and when any team was brought up, the Suzy kolbers of the world would ask if #17 could be a possibility. They acted like the Steelers were just going to let someone swoop in and steal him for breadcrumbs. You’re not getting Mike Wallace without giving up a 1st round draft pick and giving him a big contract. This isn’t madden

  14. t8ertot says: Jul 28, 2012 9:08 AM

    Come to Cincy

  15. blazin211 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:11 AM

    Mike Wallace is a good receiver not great and he doesn’t deserve Fitzgerald type money

  16. gnutella0 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:13 AM

    Mike Wallace is fast and has made many big plays, which is great. The problem is, it’s the little things that he doesn’t do consistently enough to warrant the kind of money that Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald make.

    He’s still sloppy with his routes sometimes. He’s not very tough either, and it’s obvious by the way he loses focus in traffic or in tight coverage. And for all the big plays he’s ever made, I honestly cannot recall seeing him jump, fight, or put his body on the line for the ball.

    Those are the little things that great WRs do, and until Mike Wallace does them, he’s not a great WR regardless of the big plays, and not worth the money he wants. And if the Steelers haven’t missed Plaxico Burress or Santonio Holmes, then I doubt they’ll miss Mike Wallace if he leaves.

  17. mj1818 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:19 AM

    If Wallace was worth a high pick, they would have signed him. Wallace should have known that the steelers don’t care who you are and what you’ve done, they got rid of Holmes for peanut butter and jelly in a heart beat. What makes anybody think they were going to pander to Wallace? If he showed his face at camp he would’ve received a new deal.

  18. steelforce43 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:20 AM

    The Steelers have ALWAYS operated like this and have ALWAYS been contenders. Mike’s agent needs to take some notes. An entire league could have signed Mike and no one even touched him. He needs to realize he is a good receiver but he isn’t Larry Fitz or anything close. He is just the most dangerous deep threat in the league. However, he wouldn’t be that if Ben wasn’t shaking off defenders and extending plays. Good luck with that in the future Mike.

  19. 6thsense79 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:22 AM

    If Wallace is such a one trick poney receiver and undeserving of a big contract maybe the Steelers should just cut him right Steelers fans? Maybe Wallace is a one trick poney but that trick is very, very, productive.

    I’ve already posted this but I’ll post again….

    Wallace in his first 3 years has averaged

    over 1000 receiving yards
    8 touchdowns
    18.7 yards per reception

    His first three years are better or on par with than just about any of the first three years of the elite wide receivers in the league.

    Also there has been plenty of wide receivers with elite speed that enter the league yet can’t seem to duplicate Wallace’s production.

  20. myeaglescantwin says: Jul 28, 2012 9:23 AM

    now personally, i feel playing for Pittsburgh would be one of the best situations a player could hope for..

    that being said, there were concerns about todd haley & his approach.. even Ben had some reservations.

    we dont know what todd said/expects from Wallace.

    @ the same time, I ALWAYS SIDE WITH THE PLAYERS.
    hold out till you get the contract you want.. some look at Palmer,, he got what he wanted,,,even though Cinncy sent him to NFL pergatory

  21. myeaglescantwin says: Jul 28, 2012 9:26 AM

    to all you fools criticizing Wallace,,

    he has had top ten numbers for the past two seasons,, & gets paid less the DeSean Jackson who is close to the same age..

    hold out Pitt will pay you,, or someone will

  22. meech60 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:32 AM

    The Steelers just destroyed any chance they had of reaching the promised land in 2012. What Wallace brings to the table doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Teams are forced to shadow him with an over-the-top safety on every single player. Antonio Brown has never seen double coverage thanks to Mike Wallace and once he does I highly doubt he will succeed. How is 186 lbs Antonio Brown who caught two TD’s last year going to be a #1 Receiver in the NFL? This is a disaster.

  23. getyourownname says: Jul 28, 2012 9:35 AM

    History shows that losing even a good player won’t prevent the Steelers and Ravens from always finding a way to win. They won’t bend.

  24. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:38 AM

    Playing on a team that has a quarterback who doesn’t throw an accurate deep pass, Wallace is expendable.
    On another team, with a different quarterback, Wallace would be the most dangerous deep threat in all of football. Brown is the much better fit for Roethlisberger, who is extremely accurate from short to medium range.
    Holmes has never been adequately replaced in Pittsburgh. His yards-after-catches were unequaled, which earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. Brown might emerge as that go-to guy Holmes was throughout the 2008 postseason.
    Wallace would be deadly with an Aaron Rodgers, a Jay Cutler or a Joe Flacco.

  25. eaglesfan290 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:45 AM

    DeSean Jackson does bring up an interesting point. Just because you get on the field doesn’t mean you will help the team.

    It might be better to trade him now, next year he is just going to walk for nothing. I know the Eagles wish they had traded or paid Jackson last season!

    As far as a compensatory pick you are probably only going to get a 4th round pick at best maybe 5th. If you get better value today than that why not just trade him for another player.

  26. 6thsense79 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:54 AM

    When it comes to Mike Wallace it seems everyone is channeling their inner Buddy Ryan….

    All he does is run go routes.

    Seems those go routes are responsible for a significant chunk of the Steelers receiving big plays at 18.7 yards a pop.

  27. darthvoter says: Jul 28, 2012 9:55 AM

    I’m guessing all these Mike Wallace fans didn’t watch the last half of last season. He totally disappeared. All Antonio Brown did, was step in, be very productive, never complained, returned punts, and ran precision routes, earning him the team MVP. He’s a leader despite his young age, and he sets an example. The Steelers Brass has had much experience with prima donna receivers like Burress and Holmes, both underperforming malcontents with great promise. Keep in mind, Antonio Brown was a 6th round draft choice. On a team already up against the cap, why would you pay an unhappy deep route runner insane money when nobody else will? Steelers played this well. Kept a team player for a long time, may still get something out of Wallace. Bottom line: Don’t play chicken with the Steeler brass.

  28. sneakerhead11 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:58 AM

    Denver and Manning would love to add another weapon. Wallace 2 Denver

  29. youhavenoclue says: Jul 28, 2012 9:59 AM

    I wish I could thumbs up meech60′s comment a million times. I was going to say the exact same thing but he beat me to it.

  30. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jul 28, 2012 10:00 AM

    Finally, we get a reasonable take on this situation. For months, we’ve been getting fed unjustifiably optimistic PolyAnna-ish “reports” about how it’s a fait accompli that Wallace will re-sign in Pittsburgh.

    Where have we ever seen any evidence that Wallace isn’t out for crazy money? Once he publicly declared he was worthy of Larry (certain future HOF’er) Fitzgerald money – it became very clear what we could expect. And sure enough, here we are.

    You want to know who we’ve seen a lot of evidence they wanted to stay in Pittsburgh? Check out Antonio Brown’s track record.

    Very simple call – it was all along. Not a hindsight thing — a longheld belief on both takes that was a common sense thing.

  31. nickster31 says: Jul 28, 2012 10:55 AM

    bobzilla1001 says: Jul 28, 2012 9:38 AM

    Playing on a team that has a quarterback who doesn’t throw an accurate deep pass, Wallace is expendable.
    On another team, with a different quarterback, Wallace would be the most dangerous deep threat in all of football. Brown is the much better fit for Roethlisberger, who is extremely accurate from short to medium range.
    Holmes has never been adequately replaced in Pittsburgh. His yards-after-catches were unequaled, which earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. Brown might emerge as that go-to guy Holmes was throughout the 2008 postseason.
    Wallace would be deadly with an Aaron Rodgers, a Jay Cutler or a Joe Flacco.

    *******************************************

    Seriously?

    Ben has one of the strongest arms in the NFL.

    Wallace IS the best deep threat in the NFL.

    Ben is better at short to medium range? Have you seen him play?

    Holmes was replaced by Wallace. That is why the Steelers traded Holmes, because Wallace was better than him. By the way, the Jets WAY over paid Holmes.

    The ONLY reason the Holmes won the MVP was because of Bens reputation. Had he not been accused, he would have won it, AND Ben deserved it, NOT Holmes.

    Rodgers you can compare to Ben. To mention Cutler and Flacco, and put either of them in the league of Ben Roethlisberger shows that you don’t understand the game of football what-so-ever.

  32. gizzmonic says: Jul 28, 2012 11:05 AM

    brady to wallace, brady to wallace, brady to wallace,

  33. gizzmonic says: Jul 28, 2012 11:08 AM

    Cutler and Flacco??? Why not include Fitzpatrick

  34. nirvana504 says: Jul 28, 2012 11:10 AM

    Come on home to New Orleans!

  35. samoanjungle says: Jul 28, 2012 11:12 AM

    Is there a Steeler fan that can ever offer up an objective opinion instead of worshiping at the feet of the Rooneys?
    They don’t know what went on in the negotiations but somehow it’s all Wallace’s fault, he’s greedy, he doesn’t want to be a Steeler blah blah yinz blah…

  36. Little Earthquake says: Jul 28, 2012 11:14 AM

    Wide receivers are shiny hood ornaments; they look nice but are totally replaceable. They aren’t game-changers. Anyone talking about “Larry Fitzgerald money” forgets that the Cards haven’t done jack with Larry without a decent quarterback throwing to him.

    The Steelers have been to three Super Bowls since ’05. They know what they’re doing.

  37. meech60 says: Jul 28, 2012 11:15 AM

    Antonio Brown out-performed Wallace during the second half of last year because Wallace faced constant double teams. Wallace is a really good player. Antonio Brown has yet to prove he can handle double coverage.

  38. richheddleson says: Jul 28, 2012 11:25 AM

    Just to set the record straight….worst case scenario for the Steelers……Wallace holds out first 10 games, signs his tender and plays the last 6 games, wanting to play his best for free agency…they get a fresh Wallace for the playoff run, THEN they get a 3rd round comp pick next year when he leaves for free agency. Wallace was a 3rd round pick.

  39. richheddleson says: Jul 28, 2012 11:29 AM

    Also, no team will trade for him and give the Steelers a 1st round pick, since they already had that opportunity and passed. The best the Steelers could get in a trade would be a 2nd round pick. They can play him 6-12 games this year, THEN get a 3rd round comp pick next year. Although they may not want him in the locker room this year.

  40. flaccounibrow says: Jul 28, 2012 11:35 AM

    Hmmmm. Let’s see. The Steelers have been to 3 SBs in the past 7 years winning 2 of them. I think their front office knows what their doing. The Giants are the only other team that (honestly) are in the same category. NE has to be disregarded as they haven’t won squat since spygate.

  41. jbcommonsense says: Jul 28, 2012 11:43 AM

    Wallace is very good, but everyone knows he is not worth a Fitzgerald-size contract. But $2.7 million is an insult too [look at his stats]. Pay Wallace $50 million over 5 years with $25 million guaranteed. Then the Steelers will have two young talented WRs locked in for years.

  42. deadeye says: Jul 28, 2012 11:48 AM

    Wallace overvalued himself. Pittsburgh refused to cave because they know they can draft WRs with the best of them. He’ll show up in week ten and the Steelers will let him walk. Then they’ll receive back a compensatory third rounder, which was what they originally invested in him.

  43. Steeler's Will-enator says: Jul 28, 2012 11:52 AM

    Remember when the Plax, Randel El, and Holmes departures were all going to be PIT’s downfall and they were going to make the Steelers regret letting them go? And the teams they went to predictably made them their #1 WR’s? If Wallace plays, great. If he doesn’t play then his position/role is open to the next hungry player that wants to step up.

  44. mborz says: Jul 28, 2012 11:59 AM

    @meech60: How did the Steelers jeopardize 2012 in any way? Please explain.

  45. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Jul 28, 2012 12:00 PM

    Don’t be surprised if the Steelers sign Wallace to a four year deal or so. Antonio Brown’s contract is back loaded. They can sign both of them-an will. Remember who told you first!

  46. jimmer2372 says: Jul 28, 2012 12:03 PM

    The Steelers will sign him to a 4-5 year deal. Just sit back and watch.

  47. chiadam says: Jul 28, 2012 12:15 PM

    Any GM that gives Fitzgerald money to Mike Wallace should be beaten with a hose. That’s like paying Ferrari money for an Accord.

  48. 1phd says: Jul 28, 2012 1:00 PM

    All the Steelers wanted was a first round pick right? Let’s see San Francisco, you picked A J Jenkins who will be lucky to make the team and if he does, probably mostly as a special teams player OR you could have had or maybe still have Wallace. Nice move guys.

  49. njsteelersfan says: Jul 28, 2012 1:06 PM

    The Steelers offered Wallace a 5 year, 50 million dollar deal, but Wallace still turned it down. About 8 million more than Antonio Brown.

  50. randallflagg52 says: Jul 28, 2012 1:39 PM

    How come Wallace was the greatest thing since sliced bread when he wasn’t in a contract dispute, but now that he is, he is an expendable “one trick pony”?

    And how come now that Antonio “2 career TDs” Brown is locked up, he’s suddendly the next Jerry Rice?

    What’s up with that steeler fans?

  51. randallflagg52 says: Jul 28, 2012 1:43 PM

    deadeye says:Jul 28, 2012 11:48 AM

    Wallace overvalued himself. Pittsburgh refused to cave because they know they can draft WRs with the best of them. He’ll show up in week ten and the Steelers will let him walk. Then they’ll receive back a compensatory third rounder, which was what they originally invested in him.

    ==================================

    Draft WRs with the best of them??? I need some serious examples here, because Pitt is not known for good WRs.

    Like Limas Sweede? Or even Santonio Holmes who has only had 1 1000 yard season, never been in the double digit TD rage either? Keep dreaming son.

  52. matto8929 says: Jul 28, 2012 1:46 PM

    As a huge Steelers fan, I’m so glad I didn’t buy a Mike Wallace jersey. What a disaster. Maybe Mike wants part ownership of the franchise? How much is enough? Greedy jerk.

  53. iceberg317 says: Jul 28, 2012 1:59 PM

    We’ll take the “one trick pony” out in Indy & I garuntee you we’ll be a playoff team again this year I wouldn’t give him Fitz money though & I would only give up a fourth & another player

  54. jason49er says: Jul 28, 2012 2:05 PM

    Brandon Marshall netted two 3rd round picks. Instead of a 1st Pittsburgh should be aiming for a more realistic package like that.

  55. deadeye says: Jul 28, 2012 2:06 PM

    “Like Limas Sweede? Or even Santonio Holmes who has only had 1 1000 yard season, never been in the double digit TD rage either? Keep dreaming son.”

    =========================

    No, like Holmes, Wallace, Brown, and Sanders. Why bring up sweed? Every team whiffs on a few picks, but for the last five years Pitt has gotten more production from their mid-round WRs than just about everyone else. Holmes wasn’t an untalented player, he was a head case. Wallace is good, just not as good as he thinks he is. Brown just got an extension showing his value. And Sanders is on the rise.

    Pittsburgh is transforming from a ground-n-pound offense to a more pass friendly offense. It’s a long transition for them because they are a SB contender each season and are not just rebuilding from scratch. So the changes have been gradual.

  56. 6thsense79 says: Jul 28, 2012 2:18 PM

    myeaglescantwin says:Jul 28, 2012 9:26 AM

    to all you fools criticizing Wallace,,

    he has had top ten numbers for the past two seasons,, & gets paid less the DeSean Jackson who is close to the same age..

    hold out Pitt will pay you,, or someone will
    ———————————————-
    Actually this isn’t even a hold out. Wallace has played and “honored” all 3 years of the contract he signed when he entered the league. The Steelers were rewarded with very good receiver production on the cheap over the last 3 years. Wallace is a free agent ableit restricted. This is just a negotiation for a new contract. One in which the team has the upper hand due to the CBA but a contract negotiation still. So Wallace can sign the $2.7 million 1st round tender offer, try to push for a long term deal, go the Vincent Jackson route and sit out until mid season and then sign the tender (in order to trigger his true free agency year next year), or sit out the entire season (not his best option since his true free agent year will be wiped out and he’d face the same situation next year).

    Wallace’s Rookie contract paid him a total of $1.74 million over 3 years. Even if he were to sit out half the year and sign the tender for the rest of the season he may get around $1 million. More than he made last season. (Since this is not a contract hold out fines do not come into play)

    Next year the Steelers can either franchise him at about $9 – $10 million for the year, sign him to a long term deal, or let him walk via free agency.

    Knowing all that sitting out till mid season is Wallace’s best option if he’s willing to take this hard ball tactic to its conclusion. The money Wallace will leave on the table (about $1 million) while not insignificant is not that great in the grand scheme of things. It worked very well for Vincent Jackson. The year after Jackson sat out till mid season before signing his 1st round tender he was franchised and made about $8 million. Then afterwards he signed a free agent deal potentially worth $55 million.

  57. cmm10304 says: Jul 28, 2012 2:32 PM

    Mike Wallace will be a Washington Redskin next year. They still need a true #1 receiver and could afford him next year.

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